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Scientific Programming
Volume 21, Issue 3-4, Pages 79-92

Efficient and Reliable Network Tomography in Heterogeneous Networks Using Bittorrent Broadcasts and Clustering Algorithms

Kiril Dichev,1 Fergal Reid,1,2 and Alexey Lastovetsky1

1School of Computer Science and Informatics, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
2Clique Research Cluster, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Copyright © 2013 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the area of network performance and discovery, network tomography focuses on reconstructing network properties using only end-to-end measurements at the application layer. One challenging problem in network tomography is reconstructing available bandwidth along all links during multiple source/multiple destination transmissions. The traditional measurement procedures used for bandwidth tomography are extremely time consuming. We propose a novel solution to this problem. Our method counts the fragments exchanged during a BitTorrent broadcast. While this measurement has a high level of randomness, it can be obtained very efficiently, and aggregated into a reliable metric. This data is then analyzed with state-of-the-art algorithms, which correctly reconstruct logical clusters of nodes interconnected by high bandwidth, as well as bottlenecks between these logical clusters. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed two-phase approach efficiently solves the presented problem for a number of settings on a complex grid infrastructure.